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December 17, 2019 Council Recap

Welcome to the last Council Recap of 2019!! I hope everyone is ready for the holiday season and will be able to have a happy holiday with their loved ones! I wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and any other holiday you may celebrate!!

At the meeting last night I had the opportunity to thank Councilman Mailman and Waller for their service to the community. I just want to publicly thank them once again for the willingness to serve their community. I also had the opportunity to thank the City Manager for all of her hard work in moving the City forward, we are more financially secure than we have been in a long time, and with out her diligent work and leadership, the initiatives and ideas of the Council would not come to fruition! THANK YOU!

Special Called Meeting

New Business

The renewal of the Property & Casualty and Workers Compensation Insurance for 2020-2021 with Pritchard & Jerden was approved.

Professional Services Agreement between Safebuilt and City of Stone Mountain for 2020 was approved.

New Ordinances and Resolutions

Ordinance 2019-12 Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 was adopted 5-1. Council Member Hollis voted against the budget because in her opinion the DDA should not be included in the City Budget nor funded by the City. However, through discussion with City Manager it is clear that the City is accounting for the DDA budget properly. Question was also asked on what has the DDA accomplished. Here is a list of some of those things:

  • Stone Mountain Art Incubator (SMART, Inc.) Program 2010-2013: created 3 successful galleries in vacant spaces - Center Town, East Mountain, And North Galleries - one gallery is still open

  • Weatherly Building – Purchased in December 2010 from foreclosure; successfully leased spaces for 3 years; sold to the current owners at a small profit. Building currently hosts Stone Pizza Kitchen and coming soon Rose & Hemp and The Persona Agency. Additionally, the building owner went on to purchase 3 other buildings in downtown. One of which will host the coming soon 13th Colony BBQ

  • GMC – the DDA partnered with the City in 2011 to bring the college to the Village by allowing the use of our building. GMC purchased the building this year, cementing their long-range presence in the City. Proceeds from the sale of the building remitting $93,000 to the City’s general fund.

  • Old Post Office – DDA purchased the building in July 2018 and has recently completed renovations to the building; we actively seeking a tenant for the space.

  • Revolving Loan Funds – Because the City has a DDA business/property owners have access to apply to the DCA for revolving loan funds which are low interest loans to help with the rehabilitation of their property. One successful loan was made for the repaving of the parking lot for the shopping center at Main and GBR. A second application is working through the process for Outrun Brewing.

  • Farmers Market – The DDA was responsible for starting the Farmers Market and managed and funded it through 2018

  • Tunes by the Tracks – The DDA has been a major sponsor of the music series and is responsible for obtaining the alcohol licenses, use of the municipal parking lot, as well as financial contribution

  • Started the BOOST program where private investors provide small grants to businesses quarterly

  • Façade Grant – Have successfully ran a façade grant program by which $11,000 in grants was awarded to businesses in 2019.

  • Purchased the new Christmas Tree in 2017

  • A sponsor of this years @The Table Event

  • Have been a sponsor of the Woman’s Club Home Tour, ART Station Plein Air event, as well as others

Resolution 2019-33 FY2019 Budget Amendment was adopted. Several year end adjustments were made to account for actual expenses and revenues versus projected/budgeted expenses and revenues.

Resolution 2019-34 SPLOST Fund 09 Budget Amendment was adopted. Adjustments were made to account for engineering design costs and police vehicle and equipment costs.

Work Session

Committee report was presented by Dr. Peterson, DDA executive director. The DDA will be voting on the proposed master plan with Pond & Co. In negotiating with them on the price Pond has offered to combine the master plan with the proposed marketing plan. This combination of projects along with some additional cost savings will save the City and DDA close to $20,000 over projected costs. The next meeting of the DDA will be December 18th at 6:30pm at the Old Depot. The regular meeting on December 23rd has been cancelled.

Staff reports were given by Code Compliance, Public Works, Public Safety, City Clerk, Tourism and the City Manager.

Unfinished Business

Hearthstone Subdivision - Administration has met with the building, owners and their new agent and appear to all be in agreement that the intention and goal is to have the vast majority of the new homes being owner occupied. The owner and builder are planning to have a ribbon cutting in the next few months.

Executive session was tabled.

New Business

Engineering proposal for the Sexton Drive Improvements project from Clark Patterson & Lee in the amount of $70,500 was discussed. This project will design a solution to the flooding issues the occur along Sexton Drive and adjacent to McCurdy Park. The anticipated construction estimate for the project is over $600,000. Once the engineering plans are complete we will have a more accurate idea of how much the project will cost.

The letter of engagement for the auditor, James L. Whitaker, PC was discussed. There was no change in the agreement from previous years. Audit will cover FY2019.

The Statewide Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement between the City and GEMA was discussed. Entering into the agreement would give the city access to reimbursement funding in the event of a natural disaster, such as hurricane or tornado damage.

A funding request to sponsor two interns for the Project Transformation North Georgia program was discussed. The request is for $7,000 and the program provides a summer reading camp at the Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church. The goal of the camp is to improve the reading levels of the children that attend at an extremely low/affordable cost to the parents. In order for the city to support a program like this, a contract would have to be made between the 2 entities. There will likely be further discussion on this item at future meetings.

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